One of the six child artists of Pan Nalin’s directed Gujarati film Chhello Show (The Last Film Show), Rahul Koli passed away on Sunday,October 2 battling Leukemia after almost four months at the age of 10.
The boy made his debut in Chhello Show, which is India’s official entry for the 2024 Academy Awards and will release on October 14 in the theaters of India. Rahul’s death has come as a disaster to the jollifications surrounding the film’s appearance at the prominent award ceremony.
Director, Nalin Pandya shared that the whole team of film was present with the 10-year-old actor at the Ahmedabad hospital, in his last days and shared that “he could not be saved.” Rahul played a very significant role named ‘Manu’ in the film who’s a close friend of Samay (Bhavin Rabari) – A protagonist in the film.
Rahul Koli took his last breath on Sunday, October 2 in an Ahmedabad Hospital
Rahul’s father shared, “He had his breakfast on Sunday, October 2, and then, after uncontrollable fever in the hours that followed, Rahul vomited blood three times. Thereafter, suddenly, without warning, my child passed away. Our entire family is in shock.” He also added, “after we complete his final rites on October 14, we will watch his movie “last film show” together.
Rahul’s kinfolk held a prayer meeting for him in his hometown in Hapa village near Jamnagar. Rahul’s father, Ramu Koli, who drives an autorickshaw for their livelihood, shared that his son was very excited for the film’s release.
“He was so happy and would always tell me that our lives would change after October 14 (the movie release date). But he left us before that,” Ramu told a news person.
Rahul Koli was keen to watch the movie in the theatre
Rahul was diagnosed with leukemia, the cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, this year. He was initially been treated at a Jamnagar hospital, But after remaining in the hospital for two weeks, he was admitted to the Ahmedabad cancer hospital four months ago for further treatment.
Rahul had only seen the trailer of the movie. He was very eager to watch it in the theatre, the mourning father recalled. Ramu Koli said the makers of the movie helped & assisted them a lot with Rahul’s treatment.
“When he (director Pan Nalin ) came to know about Rahul’s condition, he extended all possible help to us. He was even planning to shift Rahul to Mumbai for the treatment,” said Ramu Koli.
‘Chhello Show’ – The movie that registered itself in the Oscars this year will release in theatres on October 14
Chhello Show is a Gujarati film that is India’s official entry to the 95th Academy Awards this year which glorifies childhood and the jollity and euphoria of discovering new things.
About the film being semi-biographical, The film is inspired by Pan Nalin’s love for cinema since he was just a boy in rural Gujarat as he earlier told, “The film is about my childhood years in Saurashtra and discovering the magic of movies.
It initially started when my family asked me to go and meet one of my friends, who was a projectionist in a theatre that shut down and was not in a good condition. That was the time when I thought of making the Chhello Show which has been with me for over a decade and I felt it was time to make it because small single screens were closing down and things were changing quickly.I wanted the audience to feel the magic of movies.” he added.
Chhello Show is set against the backdrop of Indian cinema’s transition from celluloid to digital. It had it’s world premiere at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival and is now ready for a theatrical release across India on October 14.
Rahul Koli auditioned for the role of ‘Manu’ in the Jamnagar district
Rahul Koli, who hails from Hapa town in Gujarat’s Jamnagar district, was selected for the role through an audition conducted in the district.
“He was selected for an audition from a government school at Hapa where he resided with his family,” said Lalit Joshi, a Jamnagar-based theatre artist.
‘Chhello Show’ won many awards
‘Chhello Show’ , which features Bhavin Rabari, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Paresh Mehta, and Dipen Raval, had its world premiere as the opening film at the Tribeca Film Festival in June last year.
It won many awards during its festival run, comprising the Golden Spike at the 66th Valladolid Film Festival in Spain where it also relished commercial success during its theatrical run and now finally landing at the Oscars this year.